Although Harvard University is said to be one of the hardest schools in the world to get into, hackers did not seem to have this problem. According to the University’s staff, it appears that in February, at least one hacker attacked one of the institution’s computer servers. The virtual attackers might have viewed the personal information of more than 10,000 graduate students and applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Part of the highly confidential information was posted on the Web by the hackers.
So, this week, Harvard University’s officials started notifying students and applicants that some of their personal information might have been accessed by hackers. Thus, Social Security numbers might have been viewed by unauthorized persons.
According to Dan Moriarty, Harvard University’s chief information officer, on February 16 a computer server containing applications for prospective students was hit by a cyber attack. The server was also housing important information of the university’s current students. Dan Moriarty said that up to 6,600 of those applications included Social Security numbers.
The university had to take the computer server offline the following day in order to search for the source of the attack. Security researchers discovered that part of the information was copied and eventually posted on a popular bit torrent web site called The Pirate Bay.
However, the University’s security researchers haven’t been able to find out whether more sensitive information has been used or posted on the Web and decided to notify anyone that had personal information on that server.